How to Use a Nintendo DS as a PC Gamepad

Written by dan ketchum
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How to Use a Nintendo DS as a PC Gamepad
Replace your joystick with a DS using free software. (a joystick image by timur1970 from

The Nintendo DS, a portable video gaming system, features traditional controller buttons as well as a touchscreen input. Due to its numerous control methods, many gamers dream of using the DS as a PC game pad. Luckily, hobbyists created free-to-download software that allows gamers to do just that. It only takes few items, a little time and a bit of technical know-how to use your Nintendo DS as a PC gamepad.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wireless router
  • PPJoy drivers
  • DS2Key software
  • Nintendo DS
  • Computer game that uses a joystick or game pad

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  1. 1

    Download and install PPJoy, a parallel port joystick driver for Windows 98, Millennium, 2000, XP and Windows 7 platforms. This is free software available at the developer's website.

  2. 2

    Download the "DS2Key06.rar" file from an emulation, freeware or DS home brew website. This is a free program created for non-profit hobbyist use. It runs on Windows platforms -- including Windows 7 -- as well as Linux operating systems.

  3. 3

    Locate the "ds2key.nds" file on your computer. On most Windows operating systems, it should be in your "Downloads" folder.

  4. 4

    Extract the "ds2key.nds" file to your applications, or apps, folder.

  5. 5

    Run the DS2Key program from your applications menu.

  6. 6

    Follow the instructions contained in the .rar file to set-up DS2Key to the specifications of your computer, DS and wireless router.

  7. 7

    Activate game pad mode from DS2Key's menu.

  8. 8

    Open any application on your computer that uses a joystick or game pad input device.

  9. 9

    Use the Nintendo DS to control the game. Note that the touchscreen on the DS serves as the analogue stick or mouse.

Tips and warnings

  • With DS2Key, you can also use the DS's touchscreen in place of your PC's mouse.
  • The DS's four-button game pad is well-suited for classic two-dimensional computer games.
  • DS2Key version 6.0, the latest version as of 2011, only works for single player games.
  • DS2Key only works with wireless Internet connections, as it relies on the DS's Wi-Fi compatibility to operate.

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